The Athletic Motion of The Golf Swing
There is really one basic athletic motion which is used in all of athletics. The golf swing is golf’s version of this athletic motion. It is the same basic motion that is used to hit a tennis ball, throw a football, kick a soccer ball, or break a rack in pool.
To describe the athletic motion, let’s take a look at the baseball pitcher. Why the pitcher? You are familiar with the pitching motion and have probably thrown a ball or two yourself. The pitcher does what you as a golfer want to do; throw it fast, accurately and consistently. As a golfer you want to hit the ball long distances and down the middle with consistency.
So just how does the pitcher throw the ball? How do you throw a ball? It’s not complicated. Let’s take a look so we can apply these principles to the golf swing.
After getting the sign from the catcher, the pitcher begins his wind-up by moving his body so that all of his weight is on his back foot, the one on the pitching rubber. By doing this, he has caused the arm to be flung away, in the direction opposite from where he will deliver the ball. When all the weight is on the back leg and the arm is still going away from the target, he reverses the direction of the body by pushing off his back foot. This causes his body to be pushed toward the target. The arm was still going away when the body changed directions. The arm only changes directions when it can go no further back and is pulled swiftly toward the target by the forward motion of the body. This allows the arm to function with maximum effectiveness, speed, and accuracy. The arm is completely dependent on the body. The arm moves ONLY because the body moves it — not because the muscles of the arm itself made the arm move.
Have you ever seen a major league pitcher stand flat-footed and pitch the ball?
Of course not.
Any pitcher knows that he will have neither speed nor accuracy if he throws the ball flat-footed. To be effective he must use the big muscles (the legs and back) to move the body in order to create the speed and accuracy necessary for a good pitch.
I want you to try to throw the ball as far as you can, but with different rules. In order to be very powerful, you must hold the ball as tightly as possible, tightening all the muscles in your arm and shoulder. I want to see all the veins popping out; that way I know you are powerful and can throw it far. You know instinctively as you tighten up or quit moving the body that you cannot throw the ball any distance at all. In spite of this, I regularly see golfers holding the club so tightly and flexing those shoulder muscles, then wondering why they can’t hit the ball far.
Great muscular effort doesn’t do the job.
For confirmation of this, tighten up your arms and take a practice swing. Listen for any noise the club makes. There’s not much air moving, is there? Now try again, this time with your arms completely relaxed. Listen for the loud noise of the club through the air. There is quite a difference, isn’t there?
In order to have the arms and shoulders move at their top possible speed and with maximum reliability, they must be kept relaxed. This is achieved when the legs, which are the body’s real source of strength, cause the arms and shoulders to move.
Simply stated, the feet and legs cause the trunk of the body to move, which in turn causes the arms to move. All types of athletics are played with the feet moving the body. It all comes from the ground up, never from the top down.
For an observation, watch someone throw a bowling ball or throw a horseshoe to a post. The legs move the body, and the arm is completely dependent upon them.
It’s the same in all of athletics, including golf.
Because we are holding this long stick with the intention of hitting this little, innocent ball as hard as we can, this is contrary to our golf instincts. Common sense would tell us that in order to end that poor little ball’s life (without missing the ball, of course), we must use those powerful arms – and never look up? Isn’t that right? Not so!
There you have it — the process through which I developed the Concept Golf swing principles that will take your golf game to a new level. Because these ideas are simple, and because there are only five fundamentals, you might be tempted to not give them proper reverence. These principles have been tested and proven by golfers just like you. The new golfer, the professional, the high handicapper and the plus-one handicapper have all profited from these few simple ideas.
The Concept Golf swing principles are simple, logical, easy to understand, and easy to put into action. Everything else in the golf swing is a result of these few fundamentals — for all clubs, for all shots. They apply to the full swing, the short wedge and even the putter. As you understand and accept these ideas and put them to use, you will see great progress in your golf game.
It doesn’t have to be hard to discover the Par Golfer within you.